Kimmy Fasani: The Lessons Cancer Taught Me
The legendary snowboarder on dealing with the most life-changing experience of all.
This interview was first published in the 2022 Whitelines annual, and is an edited extract from my podcast interview with Kimmy which we recorded in August 2023, and which you can listen to here.
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“I'm thirty eight years old. I shouldn't have breast cancer. I'm healthy and I'm active. I felt like I was living my life in a way that was mitigating that risk”.
Death, serious illness, grief. These experiences are part of life. Yet as a society, we're strangely reluctant to deal with them - or even contemplate them - until they're in our immediate future. Thus, when somebody we care about or hold in esteem confronts these taboos, it has a real impact.
As a snowboarder, Kimmy Fasani has always been held in great affection by the snowboarding community. She has also long been aware that her profile lends her the abllity to "shift the needle and change the conversation," as she puts it. Following the birth of her first son Koa, she did just that by challenging the perception of what it means to be a mother and a professional snowboarder.
Since then, Kimmy and her family have suffered a series of escalating crises, culminating in her diagnosis with stage three breast cancer at the end of 2021. Now, thanks to the trademark wisdom and grace she has shown in sharing her experience, she has once again opened up the collective discussion.
Beyond the paid subscriber jump: read how Kimmy used her experiences as a cancer patient to reach a new understanding of her own identity, and why she feels such experiences are a necessary part of life that we need to accept and acknowledge.
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